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3 Easy Tips to Making Beautiful Pies

Pie Crust

Baking a beautiful pie doesn’t have to be hard. With just a few simple techniques, you will be making pies that look almost too good to eat!

Contributed by:
CookingWithSugar
www.cookingwithsugar.com

My mom is the “Pie Queen” in our family and has taught me almost everything I know about cooking and baking. On Thanksgiving, she makes every pie you can think of: apple, pumpkin, pecan, blueberry, lemon, chocolate and on and on. Coming from a big Italian family, we even have other pies we make during the year, like Italian wheat pies, meat pies, ricotta and spinach pies. No matter what Mom bakes, the pies always look as beautiful as they taste.

I still like to carry out all the old traditions my mom has passed onto me, but, in my modern busy lifestyle, I take some shortcuts. With Pillsbury Pie® Crust, I can prepare all the same perfect pies as Mom but in half the time. To make my traditional pies extra special, I have added some personal pie-making touches of my own, like using pie top cutters and Betty Crocker® gel food coloring.

Pie Crust Ingredients

If you follow my guided photos, you will see how easy it is to dress up your pies.


The first pie is a pumpkin, but you can do this technique for any type of pie with any shaped cookie cutter and colors. I start by placing one crust in the pie plate and then use the other crust to do some fancy cutouts.

I love to add fall leaf cutouts colored with Betty Crocker® Gel food coloring. I beat a raw egg and mix in a few drops of gel color to form the colors I wish to use. If I’m mixing a few different colors, I divide the egg into little cups.

Then I simply roll out the dough and cut out large and small leaves. I paint the larger leaves that will decorate the top of the pie with the egg coloring mixture. Then I bake them on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until they are golden but not too dark.  

Pie Crust
Step 2, Leaf Pie
Step 3, Leaf Pie

I then press the other leaves securely around the edges of the crust in the pie plate. If you want to add some color to them, you can brush on a little food coloring egg wash once they are all securely attached to the crust. Then pour in your filling and bake.

Step 4, Leaf Pie
Step 5, Leaf Pie

Once the pie has baked and cooled, I add my decorative leaves on top, giving a dramatic look to a simple pumpkin pie.

Pie Crust

Another fun technique is to use a pie top cutter. They come in all shapes and styles and are very inexpensive. They can make your pie look perfectly geometrical and professional. I’m using a simple square design on my apple pie. You use it just like a cookie cutter and then place it on top of the pie. Crimp the edges or fold them under the bottom crust.

Pie Crust
Pie Crust
Pie Crust
The finished pie gives you a perfectly symmetrical pie top.
Pie Crust
The next pie I’m making is a mock lattice look for my blueberry pie. I use one crust for the bottom. The top crust gets sliced in strips. I use a pastry wheel for a fancy cut or just a knife for a smooth line.
Pie Crust
Pie Crust
Once the strips are cut, add your filling to the bottom crust. Then take every other strip as they are laid out and evenly space them over the pie. Take the remaining strips and place them in the opposite direction over the other strips. Tuck the edges under.
Pie Crust
Pie Crust
The final result is beautiful on its own, but top it with some pretty red stars and you have a spectacular creation.
Pie Crust
The last little secret that Mom taught me is to brush the pie crust with an egg wash (a beaten raw egg with a few drops of water) and sprinkle it with sugar before baking. This gives your pies a golden sugar crust.
Pie Crust
Try unrolling some Pillsbury® pie crust today and let your imagination run wild.

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